Post-Holiday Recycling!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season! For information regarding Christmas tree recycling, how to safely recycle old Christmas lights, and wrapping paper recycling, see below!

Wrapping paper

Most gift wrap is recyclable, except plastic wraps or metallic papers. All cardboard and paperboard packaging is also recyclable. Please reuse ribbons and bows or discard in the trash.  If you do not have curbside recycling where you live, you may utilize the Town of Normal’s drop-off locations.

Christmas trees

Residents of Bloomington and Normal enrolled in those municipalities’ waste collection programs may dispose of their real (non-artificial) Christmas tree by placing it at the curb for collection on your regularly scheduled waste collection day. As these trees will be chipped into mulch, please be sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, etc. Please do not put your tree or any other waste in the street.

For residents outside of Bloomington or Normal, please check with your local municipality for tree collection options. If you do not have tree collection service at your home or in your municipality, Twin City Wood Recycling will accept your tree for chipping into mulch at their facility at 1606 W Oakland Avenue in Bloomington at a cost of $2 per tree. Call (309) 827-9663 for more information and operating hours.

Christmas lights & other e-waste

Illinois law bans most consumer electronics from landfills–they must be recycled instead. Residents can recycle strings of Christmas lights, cords, and related electronic items, regardless of condition, at one of the many locations listed below.

Did Santa bring you a new TV? Note that only two local sites now accept the older tube-style CRT TVs and monitors for recycling. See “Items Accepted” for each of the e-waste recycling collection points below.

Location: Best Buy, 2103 N Veterans Pkwy Suite 200, Bloomington, 309-663-8090
Items Accepted: Computers, computer accessories, monitors, televisions up to 32″ (flatscreens up to 60″), all types of radios, VCRs, cameras, etc. Damaged or non-working items accepted. Customers are limited to bringing in 3 units per day per household.
Items Not Accepted: appliances, microwaves, TVs that are consoles, rear-projections, or DLPs or larger than 32″, items with freon such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators. No business generated waste.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am-8:00 pm

Location: Home Sweet Home Warehouse Operations, 1700 W Washington St., Bloomington, 309-828-1530
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs,
Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories
All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes (ONLY at Mission Mart location)
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business-generated waste
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00 am-4:00 pm, 24 hour drop-off

Location: Habitat For Humanity ReStore, 1402 W Washington, Bloomington, 309-454-6047
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, Microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted. All forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No CRT (tube-style) TVs or monitors, no VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am-5:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am-4:00 pm

Location: Normal Public Works Garage, 1301 Warriner St., Normal, 309-454-9571
Items Accepted: Computers, laptops,televisions, monitors, printers, fax, scanners, copiers, peripherals, phone systems, all types of radios, VCRs, microwaves, toaster ovens, hair dryers, curling irons, cash registers, cameras, blenders, and other small appliances. Damaged or non-working items accepted.
All forms of electronic media: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs et al, game cartridges, DAT, DLT, and virtually all other type of computer tapes. All forms of printer cartridges including both inkjet and toner. All types of cell phones, pagers, PDAs and their chargers, cables, and headset accessories. All of the small computer accessories such as MP3 players, iPods, digital cameras, hand- held scanners, handheld games and other connected devices.
Items Not Accepted: No VHS tapes or audio cassettes, no business generated waste
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00 am-2:30 pm; the first Saturday of every month 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Summer hours 6:00 am-1:30 pm (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

For more information on recycling, hazardous waste disposal, and more, you can always consult other sections of this or call us at 309-454-3169.

Sustainable Gourmet 2.0

 

The Ecology Action Center invites you to attend “Wine & Dine, Brew & Chew: Sustainable Gourmet 2.0,” the twelfth annual fundraising event on Thursday, October 12, at 5:30 p.m. This year’s event will feature artisanal local hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary team at Epiphany Farms, sampling of sustainably produced wine from Uptown Normal’s Stave Wine Bar, Central-Illinois crafted beer from JT Walker’s in Mahomet and Big Thorn Farm, the nation’s only off-grid farmhouse brewery. This popular fundraiser for the EAC also includes a silent auction with fabulous sustainable items from local businesses and organizations.

During the event, the Ecology Action Center will announce the 2017 recipients of the annual McLean County Green Awards, recognizing efforts to improve our local environment.  Nominations for these awards are being taken until September 14; visit ecologyactioncenter.org to make a nomination for a local individual or business who deserves recognition for their environmental efforts.

Wine & Dine, Brew & Chew will be held at Epiphany Farms Ballroom at 220 E. Front Street in Bloomington, home to incredible gourmet farm to fork creations. Proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the Ecology Action Center and its important environmental sustainability efforts in Bloomington-Normal and McLean County. Tickets are $40 and are available online.  Tickets must be purchased in advance; the ticket sales deadline is October 8 or when tickets are sold out, whichever comes first. This event has sold out the past four years in a row so attendees are encouraged to buy tickets early. For more information, contact the Ecology Action Center at (309) 454-3169.

This event is being sponsored by Invenergy, Straight Up Solar, Dr. Matt Fraker & Dr. Sherri Thornton, Stave Wine Bar, Epiphany Farms, JT Walker’s, Big Thorn Farm, WGLT, and Palace Events.

 

 

 

ParkLands at 50 years: Mission unchanged; Methods evolving

Guy Fraker will share with us information on how the ParkLands Foundation is involved in land preservation in Illinois. ParkLands was founded in 1967, the consummation of Loring Merwin’s (the publisher of the Pantagraph) vision.  The original concept was for ParkLands to act as an intermediary, assembling adjacent tracts of land which would them be conveyed to an appropriate unit of government to preserve. Unfortunately this plan did not work out as intended. ParkLands now holds over 3,000 acres. This property is actively managed by ParkLands to restore it to its original condition. ParkLands  stands as  a shining example of local action and leadership , funded by generous donations, large and small. It helps preserves the Illinois landscape that was here first.

Guy Fraker is an Honorary Board of the ParkLands Foundation and an attorney. He is also the author of two book on Abraham Lincoln, is a frequent speaker on Lincoln, and is involved in a number of Lincoln related projects.

For more information on this program please visit http://illinoisprairie.wildones.org/events/origin-and-history-of-parklands/

Water and Sanitation in the 21st Century: A Human Rights Perspective on Domestic and International Challenges

Inga Winkler, Columbia University

Water challenges are increasingly acknowledged. We read about water scarcity, water conflicts and the looming potential of water wars. However, the world is not running out of water, and there is more than enough water to meet everyone’s basic needs. The question of scarcity is largely a question of social, economic and political drivers and priority-setting in allocation. The talk will therefore shift the focus by addressing some of the issues that are usually neglected: the sanitation crisis and the lack of access to water and sanitation not only abroad, but in marginalized communities in the United States. The United Nations officially recognized the human rights to water and sanitation in 2010, and the talk will explore what the human rights framework can offer to address the existing challenges.

Breaking Down Barriers to Energy Efficiency

Do you want to save energy and money but aren’t sure how to start or where to direct your efforts? Want to learn more about public sector energy efficiency programs? Need help figuring out how to finance an energy efficiency project? Attend “Breaking Down Barriers to Energy Efficiency,” a SEDAC workshop, on behalf of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Uncover strategies and tools to advance your energy efficiency projects. We’ll discuss how to overcome these challenges and give you a chance to interact with experts in the field. Topics include public sector energy efficiency programs, SEDAC services, financing energy efficiency, and EPA resources. Lunch will be served.

Sept. 20th, 11:30-2 pm; Room 409
Town of Normal City Hall
11 Uptown Circle, Normal, Illinois 61761

EAC Employment Opportunities: Education Coordinator and Assistant Director

The Ecology Action Center is seeking to fill up to two full-time positions:

Education Coordinator

This position is responsible for much of EAC’s education and outreach efforts related to solid waste and clean water topics including elementary school programs in all of the fourth grade classrooms in McLean County and all third grade classrooms in Bloomington and Normal.  Additional responsibilities include outreach via tabling events, coordination of educational workshops for composting and rain barrels, marketing of EAC programs and solid waste and clean water messages via traditional and social media, outreach projects like storm drain stenciling and creek clean ups, special event coordination, and other technical services.

Education Coordinator Job Description

Assistant Director

This position will combine several program-oriented roles with some management level responsibilities.  Candidates should possess a strong environmental health, energy efficiency, or environmental studies background along with skills and experience in finance, personnel management, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and familiarity with relevant technology and software.

Assistant Director Job Description

How to Apply

To apply for either position, candidates should complete an EAC Employment Application and submit it with a resume and cover letter to Executive Director Michael Brown at mbrown@ecologyactioncenter.org.  Both positions are open until filled but applicants should submit their application materials by October 6, 2017 to be considered for the first round of interviews.

Equal Opportunity

The EAC is an equal opportunity employer for all qualified employees and applicants. All decisions regarding employment are made without regard for race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or physical and/or mental disability unrelated to ability.

 

Restoration of Woodland Properties

Woodlands are a natural community type intermediate between forests and savannas which typically support an oak-hickory tree canopy. Woodlands have the potential to support numerous species of native plants and animals, some quite rare, but are under threat by several factors. Many examples are in private ownership in Illinois and these landowners are key to maintaining and improving woodlands for conservation purposes. The presentation will cover aspects of assessing land and vegetation, setting realistic management goals and implementing a stewardship vision for the land.

Bob Szafoni has over 30 years experience in natural areas identification and stewardship. He has written and/or implemented stewardship on woodlands as well as other natural community types statewide. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from University of Illinois and is retired from the IL DNR where he served as the Illinois Natural Areas Program Manager for over 10 years. Prior to that he was an IDNR Natural Heritage Biologist (covering McLean County for a time!) and has worked at the Illinois Natural History Survey. He currently is an ecological consultant as well as manages his own woodland in East Central Illinois.

This event is free and open to the public. The Mennonite Church of Normal is a handicap accessible building.

Wild Ones is a national non-profit organization of local chapters promoting the use of native plants in home and urban landscapes. For more information on our local chapter, Illinois Prairie, please visit our website at http://illinoisprairie.wildones.org.

Restoration of Woodland Properties

Woodlands are a natural community type intermediate between forests and savannas which typically support an oak-hickory tree canopy. Woodlands have the potential to support numerous species of native plants and animals, some quite rare, but are under threat by several factors. Many examples are in private ownership in Illinois and these landowners are key to maintaining and improving woodlands for conservation purposes. The presentation will cover aspects of assessing land and vegetation, setting realistic management goals and implementing a stewardship vision for the land.

Bob Szafoni has over 30 years experience in natural areas identification and stewardship. He has written and/or implemented stewardship on woodlands as well as other natural community types statewide. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from University of Illinois and is retired from the IL DNR where he served as the Illinois Natural Areas Program Manager for over 10 years. Prior to that he was an IDNR Natural Heritage Biologist (covering McLean County for a time!) and has worked at the Illinois Natural History Survey. He currently is an ecological consultant as well as manages his own woodland in East Central Illinois.

This event is free and open to the public. The Mennonite Church of Normal is a handicap accessible building.

Wild Ones is a national non-profit organization of local chapters promoting the use of native plants in home and urban landscapes. For more information on our local chapter, Illinois Prairie, please visit our website at http://illinoisprairie.wildones.org.

McLean County HHW Collection

On Saturday, September 9, 2017 McLean County residents will have an opportunity for safe disposal of their Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW).  The Ecology Action Center has again led a public-private partnership to raise funds for to cover the costs of a HHW collection; Rivian Automotive (located at the former Mitsubishi Motors North America) is generously providing their facility as a venue for the public event. Proper disposal of HHW items is crucial for the protection of local water supplies.

The September 9 HHW collection will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free and open only to McLean County residents.  Per state regulations only residential HHW can be collected – no business or commercially generated wastes may be accepted.  Residents may enter the event via the south entrace to the Rivian Automotive Facility, from West College Avenue in Normal.  The event will occur rain or shine.

For an efficient event and to minimize wait times, residents are encouraged to follow these guidelines:

  • Items that will be accepted include oil-based paints, household batteries, paint thinners, used motor oil, herbicides, drain cleaners, insecticides, lawn chemicals, pesticides, solvents, old gasoline, antifreeze, pool chemicals, hobby chemicals, cleaning products, aerosol paints and pesticides, mercury, fluorescent lamp bulbs, double bagged and wetted asbestos, old and outdated medicines and pharmaceuticals, and electronics, including tube-style TVs or monitors (limited to one tube style TV accepted per household).
  • Items that will not be accepted include latex paint, tires, agricultural chemicals, propane tanks, business/commercial sector wastes, smoke detectors, explosives, farm machinery oil, fireworks, fire extinguishers, lead acid batteries, institutional wastes, medical wastes, sharps, needles and potentially infectious medical wastes.
  • Latex paint is not hazardous and may be disposed of in household trash once it has been completely dried to a solid.  This is easily accomplished by pouring the latex paint out onto several layers of newspaper or other disposable material in an appropriate amount and letting it air dry.  Once it is dry and solidified it may be safely and legally thrown in the trash.  This technique is only applicable to latex paints; oil paints are always considered hazardous and should be used up for their intended purpose or disposed of at a HHW event.
  • Materials should be kept in original labeled packaging and containers – do not mix materials together.
  • Carpool your HHW.  To reduce excessive traffic and waiting time at the event, residents are strongly encouraged to work with their neighbors and friends, especially in helping the elderly, to bring HHW materials from multiple households in one vehicle.
  • Materials will only be accepted during the event hours – dumping of materials before or after the event is illegal.

Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes pollutes our local water supplies and environment.  Whether it is thrown out with regular trash going to a municipal waste landfill, dumped illegally down the drain, storm sewer, or in a ditch, these actions compromise the safety of drinking water thereby threatening the health and well-being of area residents.  The Ecology Action Center, a local leader in recycling and solid waste management efforts, receives inquiries daily from concerned residents who wish to dispose of materials properly.  HHW collection events are the primary means for safe disposal of many of these materials.

To cover the estimated $175,000 cost of this one-day event, the Ecology Action Center is accepting donations to the McLean County HHW Fund.  Tax deductible donations may be made online or by sending a check to: Ecology Action Center, 202 W College Ave, Normal, IL  61761.  Please donate to make this event a success.

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered – we now have all volunteer slots filled.